Morelli under pressure

With signing day less than a week away, star QB Anthony Morelli of Pittsburgh (Penn Hills) is under more pressure than he has faced at any point in his life.<br><br> So much pressure, in fact, that he has had to leave his house often in the last few days just to get away from the countless phone calls from those wanting an interview.

That information comes from a source close to the family who says that Anthony still sees himself committed to Pittsburgh, even though he spent the past weekend with his family getting to know Joe Paterno and all that Penn State has to offer.

Morelli was impressed.

"There is a difference in playing in front of 100,000 people and being on ABC," says the source.

That is something that Pittsburgh cannot give Morelli. A newly reformed Big East does not have the advantages of the steady Big Ten and Morelli has definitely noticed.

Iowa, another Big Ten school, has not given up on Morelli either. Coach Kirk Ferentz made the trip to Morelli's home on Thursday trying to convince the strong-armed quarterback to join them in the Midwest. Pittsburgh coaches not to be outdone, also made their presence known with an appearance.

But after being recruited heavily by 45 schools, Morelli looks to be down to the two he grew up watching. The fierce rivals - Pitt and Penn State. And it will be his decision, according to the source. And not his father's decision like so many have believed.

It will be made next week, and with little fanfare. No press conference is wanted by the Morelli's. He just wants to sign and get on with his college career.

Morelli is much needed by Pittsburgh, and it's been rumored that a Morelli signature could sway the decisions of other blue chip recruits like RB Andrew Johnson of Pittsburgh (North Hills), who also has committed to Pitt, but is still taking visits, and WR Johnny Peyton of Dade City, FL (Pasco), who has indicated that he would love to go where Morelli's rocket arm goes.

Will it be Penn State with legendary coach Joe Paterno, whom Morelli sees as a living legend, and the stability and power of the Big Ten? Or will it be hometown Pittsburgh with Walt Harris, whom Morelli, according to the source, has "respect and admiration for"?

We will all know in less than a week. And do not ask Anthony about it until then. He won't be answering his phone. The biggest decision of his life is looming and he just wants to be left alone to make it.

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